The children of Montana Terrace celebrated their new playground with a ribbon cutting and sweet treats for Halloween.
The District of Columbia Housing Authority along with its city and community partners, Make Kids Smile, M&T Bank, and Foulger-Pratt, gathered on October 27 to celebrate a new playground at the property.
“Play is important. Playgrounds build community, build comradery, and let kids be kids,” said DCHA Executive Director Adrianne Todman at the ceremony.
Todman credited the Montana Terrace Resident Council President Tanora Gibbs for the equipment.
“Ms. Gibbs worked tirelessly, tirelessly to make sure we got this playground built,” Todman said.
Council member Kenyan McDuffie, who represents Ward 5, said he could feel a mood in the area despite the dreary weather.
“I still feel a mood and spirit of happiness and love,” he said “The cold and wetness did not keep those kids from playing on the playground.”
McDuffie said the beauty of playgrounds is that they not only provide a safe space for children to learn life lessons, but also a place for the larger community to congregate.
After thanking everyone who made the playground possible, Gibbs said, “I’m so happy about this playground. We’ve wanted one for years.”
She continued, “I want to see the kids have a safe place to play and enjoy themselves.”
President of Make Kids Smile, Inc. Pete Ognibene said he first met Gibbs when he went to check out the potential playground site at Montana Terrace. She told him he would love the space and he would love her. He said it all worked.
“We’ve been doing this for 20 years. It is a complete blessing to see these communities come together,” said Ognibene, who also is the executive vice president and chief financial officer at Foulger-Pratt. “When I get to see the children play, it just takes my heart.”
Make Kids Smile, Inc. was founded in 1999 as a local non-profit, tax-exempt organization, exclusively for philanthropic purposes. The primary goal of Make Kids Smile Inc. is to provide playground equipment for underprivileged children in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area who do not otherwise have safe recreational equipment to use and enjoy in their own neighborhoods.